Rolled Hem Basics & How To

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A rolled hem uses a special foot on your sewing machine – called the rolled hem foot, appropriately enough – to roll the edge of the fabric onto itself and stitch it in place. You can also create this type of hem by hand if you don’t have a rolled hem foot for your machine or if the type of fabric you’re sewing is very delicate. The rolled hem is ideal for lightweight fabrics, knits, and any project where you might otherwise use a serger but you don’t have one.

Basic rolled hem is perfect for napkins. The Sewing Loft

(Note: depending on the brand of your machine the presser foot may also be known as the narrow hemmer foot.)

Uses for the rolled hem:

  • Use a rolled hem to sew the edges of a piece of silk chiffon or other very delicate fabric and turn it into a scarf.

  • Use a rolled hem on sheer fabrics – examples might include sewing a slip or a pair of sheer curtains.

  • Rolled hems work really well for tablecloths, because traditionally tablecloths don’t have a heavy hem on them.

  • Rolled hems are excellent for the edges of a t-shirt, especially one made with delicate knit fabrics.


Tips for rolled hems:

  • Using a rolled hem foot can take some practice, so try to test it out on a scrap piece of fabric that has the same composition as the fabric you’d like to finish with a rolled hem.

  • Be sure to leave a long thread tail for easy seam start.  If your machine has an automatic thread cutter be sure to disengage.
  • If you are using very delicate fabric, be sure to use a sewing needle and proper thread that will work well with the fabric without tearing it or jamming it inside the machine.

  • If you sew a rolled hem by hand, keep your stitches small and near the edge of the curve in the fabric.


Basic rolled hem is perfect for napkins. The Sewing Loft

How to make a Rolled Hem

This technique is for all levels.

Skill Level- 1 Button



  • sewing machine
  • rolled hem foot

Basic Instructions:

  1. Swap out your standard presser foot for  your rolled hem foot. This foot has a strange-looking twisted piece in the center. This scroll will guide the edge of the fabric into place and create your hem beautifully while enclosing the raw edge.
  2. Trim hem seam allowance to 1/2″.  Fold and press the fabric over 1/8″ to the wrong side of fabric. Press over 1/8″ again.Basic rolled hem is perfect for napkins and other narrow hemmed projects. The Sewing Loft
  3. Before I begin to stitch, I like to tack a few stitches at the edge and leave long thread tails. This will make starting easy and smooth.  Place fabric under presser foot and feed fabric into twisted scroll.  Lower foot.Basic rolled hem is perfect for napkins and other narrow hemmed projects. The Sewing Loft
  4. Pull the thread tails from behind with your left hand and slowly begin to sew. Continue stitching to edge, gently guiding the fabric with your right hand; leaving a long thread tail.Basic rolled hem is perfect for napkins and other narrow hemmed projects. The Sewing Loft


  • If you’re sewing by hand, take one edge of the fabric and gently roll it in on itself, toward the right side or the top. Make your roll tight and small, and pinch it between the fingers of your non-dominant hand. Make a series of small stitches between the body of the fabric and the rolled fabric to hold it in place. Hide your knots inside the roll.


The rolled hem is the perfect technique for napkins, scarves, dresses and more.

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  1. Thanks Heather for the information. I love my hemmer foot, I sew my own nightgowns with a very light weight knit and this foot finishes the sleves and hem just perfectly…….

  2. anneweaver1974 says

    I keep saying I’m going to get one of these feet, but I keep putting it off. I’ve linked to your tutorial in a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later this morning:

  3. How do u do corners with the rolled hem foot? I’ve looked everywhere online for hint but can’t find anything more than a straight stitch.

  4. So do you really press the hem first? What do you feed into the foot…the total pressed edge or “unfold” and feed in now “flat” material? THanks

  5. Deby Coles says

    Thanks for all these tips. I have one of those special feet, tried it once and ended up with a jumble of threads and gathered fabric. Now I think I’ll try again.

  6. Donna Strohl says

    Is this the picot foot?

  7. Where can you get this rolled him foot for a brother sewing machine.?

    • You can find the foot on line or at your local quilt/machine shop Debbie.

    • Michele in IL says

      Yes, the brother store has many of the same feet as any other brand. I just bought my sister a brother rolled hem foot. They have two sizes. I bought the larger one for napkins etc.

  8. Thanks so much for the tutorial. How do you handle seams? I’ve had a hard time with the rolled hem foot when I get to a seam.

    • tricia Leonard says

      My method is to make sure to restitch the last half inch of seam with smallest stitch, especially if I’ve cut through the seam. Then I trim seam allowance at an angle, so only the smallest amount has to fight through the twist in the foot. I have a pin handy to poke and encourage……carefully……the fabric through the twist.
      Good luck

  9. “Fold and press the fabric over 1/8″ to the wrong side of fabric. Press over 1/8″ again”
    In the picture, it looks as if it’s just pressed once before putting it under the rolled hem foot.

  10. Cindy Derryberry says

    You make it look easy enough I might have to try it!!!! Thanks for tutorial.

  11. Pat Laursen says

    I am thinking about purchasing a new machine. What machine would you suggest that is not too expensive? does the basics and runs smoothly. Some of the newer machines sound so choppy and tinny..

    • Marjan van Rompaey says

      I am verre happy white myn brother. Phaff is also good. Marjan from belgium, antwerp.

  12. robynsewsthisandthat says

    Hi Heather. I have tried a few times to create a rolled hem and have not been happy with the end results. I am determined to learn to master thins. I am curious about the pressing of the seam allowance mentioned at the beginning. You have pressed under 2 times an 1/8 inch of the 1/2 inch seam allowance. Is this pressed in this manner the whole length of the hem? And is it pressed over twice as you are tunneling it into the rolled hem foot? In the end, is the 1/2 inch hem allowance folded over 4 times? I am just trying to get a visual of how it works. One more quick question… is a rolled hem easy to accomplish with linen? (for napkins or table cloth) Thank you for posting.

  13. Aline Habib says

    I didn’t found it here in Brazil… 🙁

  14. Thank you for the demo, it was helpful.

  15. Michele in IL. says

    My question is, after the first rolled side how do you start the corner for the 2nd side.

  16. tooheycohen says

    Great timing! Thanks for the tips. I just bought this foot for my Pfaff machine last week and haven’t tried it yet.

  17. How do you disengage an automatic thread cutter?

  18. Stephanie oseguera says

    Anybody know what needle size for a singer 7258 to use for a rolled hem pressure foot??

  19. I love using my hemmer feet, but I’m at a loss as to why you pressed the hem into place twice… that’s the entire point of the foot. It takes a raw edge and makes those folds for you while stitching it in place.

  20. i always thought it require some skills to use it, but with iron much easier i think

  21. Good tips

  22. Can this be used for binding on a quilt when using the backing for the binding? Hope that makes sense.

  23. Sewing Lady says

    I can agree with most of your tutorial, except that my rolled hems are normally on chiffon.
    You simply cannot iron chiffon. You will have to fold as you go. I make the first roll and let the foot make the second. I will suggest however that if you have seams involved, to stitch them down at least one inch from the bottom of fabric. By doing this it lessens the bulk that has to pass through the foot. The seams, to me are the most challenging of the whole thing.

    • Thank you for your note and sharing your tip for chiffon fabric. The rolled hem technique can be used on a variety of fabrics.

      • Su Hubbard says

        I have found a small 1 to 2 inch square of tear away stabilizer at the beginning of the hem works well to prevent it from being jammed down into machine. Soluable would probably also work fine if you can get project wet .

  24. Ilda Miranda says

    Thank you & waiting to her some more good new.

  25. saya jadi mengerti dengan panduan sepatu mesin jahit gulung

  26. Bobbie J. Mattox says

    Thanks for giving useful information, Basic of a rolled hem. how to use a rolled hem and how its work.